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History Optional Test Series Cum Crash Course

by Vajiram & Ravi

Date of Commencement

24th June 2024


Rs. 15,000 (Incl. GST)

History Optional Test Series Cum Crash Course

Preparing History optional for Mains

Understanding the challenges for Mains appearing aspirants

  • Number of days available – around 75 days (after the declaration of prelims results to the commencement of the Mains exam on 20th September 2024)
  • Revising the syllabus at least 2 to 3 times with special emphasis on themes repeated in PYQs
  • Prepare historiography, in a nutshell, to incorporate in answer writing
  • Practise maps to get a hit rate of at least 15 sites out of 20 sites.
  • Cover the cultural theme (especially literary themes)
  • Cover micro topics generally asked as 10-mark questions (prepare around 150 words)


Course offerings

Course offerings

  • Workshop (open to all) on how to write answers in history optional and to plan your preparation in the given time frame.
  • Total tests – 8 (4 sectional tests + 4 Full-length tests)
  • Discussion videos of all tests with more emphasis on the approach (live and recorded)
  • Handwritten and printed notes of faculty for value addition - Socio-economic and cultural themes
  • Synopsis of all major debates of Paper I and II
  • Evaluation and feedback session by the faculty
  • Daily answer practice questions and feedback from the faculty
  • Mentorship during the course phase to clear doubts
  • Maps for regular practice (theme-based)

Nature of value-added classes

Paper I

Focus areas

  • Historiography of important themes
  • Political themes - nature of State, policy initiatives of emperors and sultans and their impact on people, Debate on the fall of state
  • Religious themes - Fertility cult (worship of mother Goddess) Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Puranic Hinduism, Tantrism, Heterodox sects, Bhakti-Sufi movement, religious philosophy and literature, Din-i-illahi
  • Literary themes - Court literature, Commentaries, Travelers account, translations, folk literature
  • Economic themes - Development of trade and commerce, agriculture, moneylending and banking, role of state and other factors
  • Cultural themes - State art and popular art, Influences and inspirations
  • Social + Subaltern Themes - Urbanisation, an account of the life of the people, Varna, caste and Jati, Position of women, Shudra, Indian Muslims, Dalits, peasantisation of tribes, Rajputisation, Peasant - state relations, the role of intermediaries - Khuts, Muqaddam, Chaudharies, Zamindars, Jagirdars
  • Archaeology as the basis of the study of prehistoric and proto-historic community

Map Section

  • Pre-Historic Sites
  • Proto Historic Sites - IVC (focus on recent discoveries)
  • Mahajanapadas and their capitals
  • Temple Sites, Educational sites
  • Buddhist and Jaina sites
  • Rock Caves (related to Art and Culture)
  • Important Ports during Ancient India
  • Recent additions to World Heritage Site lists

Different nature of questions from the above themes



Literary sources

  1. How far can the ancient Indian Sruti literature be used as a historical source? (2015, 15 marks)
  2. The copious references to the preservation of the Varnashrama system by the kings eulogised in inscriptions are mere reflections of the Smriti tradition.” Discuss (2016, 15 marks)
  3. Ancient Indians had no taste for historiography…… Comment on the various approaches towards the study of Ancient India.
  4. Write short notes on Hindu Literature, and Sanskrit literature, and translation of Sanskrit to Persian works during Mughal rule.
  5. Questions on Kalhana Rajatrangini - A reliable source of the political history of Kashmir, Jonaraja’s contribution
  6. Various accounts of travelers - Chinese, Arab accounts
  7. Religious literature - Upanishads, Bhakti and Sufi literature

Indus Valley Civilisation

  1. Discuss the water management and its conservation planning in the Harappan (Indus -Saraswati) cities (2013,20 marks)
  2. Give an account of the Burial practices in the Harappan civilisation people.
  3. Throw light on the life of a common man in Harappan civilisation based on various findings.
  4. Do you agree that ecological factors influenced the flow and ebb of the Harappan civilisation? Comment (2021,20 marks)

Themes on Continuity and Change

  1. The varna concept may always have been largely a theoretical model and never an actual description of society.” Comment (2013,15 marks)
  2. The concept of Shramanic religions, with particular reference to Buddhism, had its roots in Upanishadic ideas. Discuss (2018,15 marks)
  3. Sanskrit literature of the classical Gupta Age set standards for the early medieval India.’ Evaluate the statement with representative examples.
  4. Discuss the evolution and development of regional temple architecture of South India with special reference to Pallavas. (2020,20 marks)

 Paper II

Section A (Modern India)

From the establishment of British rule to the creation of Indian National Congress (B L Grover)

  • Ideological and other considerations shaping British policies in India
  • Impact of British rule on Indian economy, society, culture
  • Native states and EIC - Bengal conquest and plunder, Anglo-Maratha wars, Anglo-Mysore wars (Role of Tipu Sultan)
  • Role of Governor Generals - Clive, Cornwallis, Bentinck, Dalhousie, Rippon and Curzon
  • Constitutional developments during the British Raj, Famine policy, development of local self-government
  • India’s response to the British rule - Indian Renaissance, Socio religious reform movements, Caste movements, 1857 revolt, peasant revolts, tribal uprisings
  • Rise of Indian Nationalism, Ideology and long-term strategy of Indian national movement

From 1885 to 1947 (Shekhar Bandhopadhyay)

  • Indian National Congress - Contribution of moderates and their limitations, Swadeshi Movement, Foreign policy of INC, the contribution of Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh, Women in INC, Association of Indian Capitalists
  • Gandhian ideology and movement - Rowlatt Satyagraha, Support to Khilafat movement, NCM, CDM and QIM, Gandhi and peasant cause
  • Revolutionary extremism - Marxist influence, Bhagat Singh, Irish influence, outside India
  • Rise of Left - Communist, Congress Socialists, M N Roy, Subhash and Nehru
  • Peasant movements and INM
  • Transfer of Power - Debates

Section B(Modern World History)

  • Revolutions - (AR, FR, RR and IR) - Debate on the nature, causes, role of women, subaltern, outcome and legacy
  • Rise of nation states - GU, IU, Balkan Nationalism and Modern Japan
  • Intellectual and Philosophical movements - Renaissance and Enlightenment, Major Thinkers
  • 20th Century - WWI, WWII, Europe between world wars, Rise of Counter revolution
  • Post-WW European Reconstruction and Consolidation
  • Cold WAR
  • West Asia in turmoil
  • Unipolar world and its challenges
  • UN and analysis of its functioning
  • Decolonisation and Postcolonialism, Rise of 3rd World - Global South, NAM, NAM 2.0

Course Schedule

Day (Date)SyllabusActivityClass
1(24/6/24)Prehistoric period in the Indian subcontinent - Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic CultureAWP + Map 1 (Palaeolithic sites)No
2(25/6/24)Chalcolithic culture + IVC + Megalithic CultureAWPClass 1
3(26/6/24)Age of Aryans + Age of MahajanapadasAWP + Map 2(Mesolithic sites)No
4(27/6/24)Hetredox sects, Second Urbanisation + Mauryan EmpireAWP + Map 3 (Neolithic sites)No
5(28/6/24)Post Mauryan period (200 BCE - 300 CE)AWPClass 2
6(29/6/24)Age of Imperial GuptasAWP + Map 4 (Megalithic sites)Online discussion on AWP 1 to 6
7(30/6/24)History of Deccan and South (From Sangam age to Imperial Cholas)AWP + Map 5 (IVC sites)Class 3
8(1/7/24)Development of Science and Technology, Mathematics, Schools of Indian Philosophy, Age of HarshaAWP 
9(2/7/24)Revision of topics from Day 1 to Day 8AWPClass 4
10(3/7/24)Full Length Test 1 (Ancient India)  
11(4/7/24)Early Medieval India - Origin and rise of Rajputs, Rajput polity society, economy, Imperial CholasAWP + Map 6 (Temple and Buddhist Sites)Recorded Solution of FLT 1
12(5/7/24)Early Medieval India - Economy, New Social order, Condition of Women, Religion, Proponents of Vedanta PhilosphyAWPOnline discussion on AWP 7 to 12
13(6/7/24)Early Medieval India - Cultural themesAWP + Map 7(Jaina Sites + Educational centres in ancient India)Class 5
14 (7/7/24)13th and 14th Century - Establishment of Delhi Sultanate, Political, economic and social Impact, Policies of SultansAWPNo
15(8/7/24)13th and 14th Century - Society , Economy and Culture (Bhakti- Sufi movement)AWP +Map 8 (Ancient Ports + Ancient Capitals)Class 6
16(9/7/24)15th and Early Sixteenth Century - Rise of regional kingdoms, Vijayanagar Empire, Sur Empire + Cultural themesAWPNo
17 (7/7/24)Akbar - Conquests + Consolidation of Empire, PoliciesAWPClass 7
18(8/7/24)Mughal Empire in 17th century, Ahoms, Maratha kingdom under ShivajiAWPClass 8
19(9/7/24)Economy, Society and Culture in 16th and 17th Century, India in 18th CenturyAWPOnline discussion on AWP 13 to 19
20 (10/7/24)Revision Day  
21 (11/7/24)Full Length Test 2 (Medieval India)  
22(12/7/24)Establishment of British rule in IndiaAWPClass 9
23(13/7/24)Economic + Cultural ImperialismAWPRecorded Solution of Test 2
24(14/7/24)Indian Renaissance in 19th Century + Socio religious reform movements + Caste movementsAWPClass 10
25(15/7/24)Indian Response to British rule culminating in the 1857 revoltAWP 
26(16/7/24)Rise of Indian Nationalism - INC movements before GandhiAWP 
27(17/7/24)GandhiAWPClass 11
28(18/7/24)Other strands in Indian freedom struggle - Revolutionaries, Rise of LeftAWP 
29(19/7/24)Constitutional developments during British ruleAWPOnline discussion on AWP 19 to 29
30 (20/7/24)Politics of separatism, rise of 2 nation theoryAWPClass 12
31(21/7/24)Transfer of Power: Freedom and PartitionAWPClass 13
32(22/7/24)Many voices of a Nation, Peasant movement in 20th centuryAWPNo
33(23/7/24)Post Independent India - IAWP 
34(24/7/24)Post Independent India - IIAWP 
36(26/7/24)Full Length Test 3 (Modern India)  
37(27/7/24)Enlightenment + Rise of Socialist ideas up to Marx, Marxism, Engels contributionAWPRecorded Solution of FLT 3
38 (28/7/24)Origin of Modern Politics - European state system, AR, ACWAWPClass 14
39(29/7/24)Origin of Modern Politics - FR, Napoleon, Vienna Congress, Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, British Democratic politicsAWPOnline discussion on AWP 30 to 39
40(30/7/24)Industrial Revolution and Russian revolution, Rise of Modern JapanAWPNo
41(31/7/24)Nation- States System - GU, IU, Eastern Question and Balkan NationalismAWPClass 15
42(1/8/24)World WarsAWPNo
43(2/8/24)Europe between World WarsAWPNo
44(3/8/24)Post-World War reconstruction - United Nations, European Consolidation, Rise of 3rd worldAWPClass 16
45 (4/8/24)Cold WarAWPOnline discussion on AWP 40 to 45
47(6/8/24)Revision DayAWP 
48(7/8/24)Full Length Test 4 (Modern World History)  
22/8/24Full Length Test - Paper I  
29/8/24Full Length Test - Paper II  
10/9/24All India Simulated Optional Test - Paper I and II  


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